Rugby League

New South Wales, you don’t really believe, do you? Go on, admit it, Queensland have got your measure. Deep down you know it; you don’t think you can beat them.

You talk the talk, but after six consecutive series losses your walk appeals as nothing more than a crippled hobble.

You have the veneer of a Ferrari but the engine of a Morris Minor.

That you were dominating Queensland in the opening twenty minutes of State of Origin one displays an ability to match. You took the game to the northerners, they struggled with the heat. All they could do was hang on for dear life, but when it appeared you had Queensland’s range your cause segwayed into a capricious splutter leaving you unable to finish the mission.

Why? Is it a lack of self-belief? I mean, you run your foe ragged, they struggle to cope, yet you regularly leave with unfinished business. When the time came to put your foot to their throat and take their breath away, you went into your shell. When push came to shove, it’s as if you were scared to harness your willpower to harass your way through the mental barrier that would allow you to be catapulted into that much vaunted Promised Land.

It was a job half done. Now there is something about you that we’ve never heard before.

It must be obvious to you that you are good enough, that the gods of success are prepared to appropriate your ascension into the exulted realms of the winners circle.

At least it should be. It’s not as if you can’t play. Success is waiting patiently in one of life’s many doorways for you to reach out and take hold of its bare-knuckled exuberance and use it tellingly in your quest for a meaningful relationship with glory.

After all nature’s light shines brightest on those who have the belief in themselves to utilise their given talents. Still, it is all very well having talent but it is the top six inches that matter most in professional sport.

It seems this is a case of those last few inches not quite corresponding with your hopes and dreams.

Perhaps, then, you don’t believe.

For every time you had the Maroons at breaking point they found a way back from the brink to bring down your attacking raids. Kudos to them, but you would think that with all those opportunities you had, even one might be converted. But, no, not one measly little opportunity was snaffled up by you.

And therein lies the problem. These moments are far from being puny in nature, but you don’t quite believe in yourselves enough to reap the rewards that await you as a potential tenant.

Until you rediscover that long lost self belief, this situation threatens to fester. It is fast turning into an deleterious boil infested with a soaring lack of confidence, in turn leading to missed opportunities as you displayed time and again in Origin one.

They were there for all to see in plentiful abundance.

Many of us lost count the number of times you succeeded in getting Michael Jennings in open space down the left side attack, yet not one of those chances came to fruition. All you could manage was two tries from kicks.

Match after match, series after series, you flatter to deceive.

Failure has become your reality. Now though, the time has come to close your eyes and be blind to the past, opening your mind to the reality of what is now possible. Never have you had to touch and feel something for it to be real. That hope, those dreams, they are all the thought processes of the real; now is the opportune moment to rotate them into something more tangible. After all, your reality is what you choose to make it.

You can decide to man up and take the might of Queensland head on with eighty minutes of rip-snorting play combined with a fearlessness never seen before, erasing any slumberous thoughts from the habitat of your self-consciousness thus allowing your talent to march on unabated into your very own Tour de Force Origin performance.

Or not. It is your choice, after all.

Surely the alternative and its consequences do not bear contemplating. Being labelled losers yet again by an unforgiving public that sense you do not care as much as the Queenslanders do can’t be a situation that rests easy with you.

Another loss, another series down the gurgler, now would be the time to explore the inner strength from within. If not, seven series losses in a row – oh well, never mind.

Of course, you will need to be on your game. Queensland, they’re good, really good, but then so can you be.

Never mind that Queensland has a spectacularly good backline. Doubtless it must be terribly daunting to look up and see the Australian backline in front of you. They’re like ants, that lot; knock one out and a whole lot more appear – a never ending supply of attacking pests rich in mayhem and havoc and generously seasoned with endless points-scoring ability.

So what you may well be asking. If not, you should be. Superstar backs can only do their thing if their forwards lay a platform first, and all that.

Led by one of the best go forward men in the game, Paul Gallen, Wednesday night’s encounter is the time to more than break even with Queensland up front, to knock the stuffing out of the banana benders so-called hard men in the middle of the park, taking the wind from their sails, leaving them battered then bruised, and rendering them as useless as the IQ of a Christmas turkey.

Come on, turn your swag on but don’t be too cock of the walk. Show arrogance the door. Believe, be confident – there is a difference.

You do believe? You are confident you can win, are you not?

Oh, you are.

Go on then, prove it.